Meetings that are nothing more than tedious updates will be seen by salespeople as a waste of their time.
That’s why Secret #7 in my 10 Secrets for a Successful Sales Meeting is keep to a minimum the time spent on such things as supply chain issues, volume updates, etc. (Don’t forget to check out secrets 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6).
Nothing can be more boring for a salesperson than sitting in a meeting where the discussion is on inventory, shipment updates and all of the hassles that typically occur on a regular basis in every company.
Yes, it’s important for salespeople to be aware of what is or is not happening; however, when the sales meeting becomes nothing more than a meeting about logistics, then something is wrong.
Many of these issues can be handled better by distributing reports ahead of the meeting and asking for team members to review them beforehand. Yes, I know there is an argument that they won’t bother to look at them, but all it takes is for them to experience a few times of you no longer going through reports like that during the meeting and you’ll be amazed at how they start looking at them.
Use your meeting time to deal only with the special situations – the unique items that require some discussion or direction.
Your objective is to be able to cut down the total amount of time normally spent on items like this to allow you to have more time to discuss the hot topics and key issues that a lively discussion could result in effective solutions.
This is another key difference between sales managers and sales leaders. Sales managers want to review each and every number during the meeting. Sales leaders are concerned about what the numbers mean and how they can be impacted.
Spend your time dealing with the exception and not the norm.
To accomplish this, you may need to stop having people from Logistics, Operations or other departments attend all of your meetings.
This might take some one-one-one discussions between you and other department heads, but making the change will help you and your sales team immensely. You still can have these people attend, but now you have them attend only on occasion and only when you have time allocated to allow for discussion of only the key issues that involve them.
Whatever you do, never allow control of the meeting to shift from you to another department head. You’re the sales leader, not some person from Accounting or Operations.
Sales meetings need to be characterized by a good use of time. Don’t waste time on information and details that can just easily be covered outside the meeting.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.